Using oils aromatically in the garden
When using oils in the garden, you’ll find there are many different ways to do so. Using the oils AROMATICALLY in the garden is most effective on airborne pests, and potentially many others as well. Like humans, plants breathe in oxygen and can soak in the benefits of Essential Oils just by having them in the air around them.
You can improve both the abundance and the taste/nutrition of the plants you grow by incorporating Essential Oils into your gardening. They are simple, safe, and very effective. Recent studies show that using Jasmine with plants reduced stress noticeably when compared to gardens that did not use Jasmine. You can also use the calming blend, uplifting blend, or lavender.
Aromatic methods for use in the garden
SPRAYS: Just add a few drops of essential oil (as noted through this post) to water in a spray bottle. How much? All you need is two to four drops for every 8 ounces of water. Adding a few drops of natural liquid soap (e.g., castile soap) will help make sure the spray uniformly covers both leaves and insects. Directions: Spray directly onto fruits, vegetables, flowers, the undersides of leaves (preferable), etc.
STRINGS: Soak an ordinary string in a mix of water and Essential Oils (we’ll talk about oils for various purposes throughout this post). To discourage flying insects, hang the string in the garden.
CLOTH STRIPS: Put one drop of Essential Oil on strips of fabric. Hang these throughout the garden, adding more drops as needed.
COTTON BALLS: Add Essential Oil to cotton balls to deal with burrowing animals or pests. Place the cotton balls on top of nests, burrows, etc.
PLANT PROTECTION RECIPE
- 2 – 4 drops (experiment with amounts) Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 – 4 drops (experiment with amounts) Thyme Essential Oil
- 8 oz. Water
- Combine oils and water in a spray bottle.
- Mist the spray onto plants.
Pollination is a key element to the successful production of fruits and veggies, and Essential Oils can help us attract those beneficial pollinators that make our garden abundant.
Making a simple spray using Essential Oils and spraying on blossoms can encourage more visitors, which means more fruit!
Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Wild Orange, Basil, Rosemary, Clary Sage, and Lavender can all be used aromatically to attract pollinators, bees especially. Lavender and Fennel attract butterflies to your garden.
EO POLLINATOR PLEASER RECIPE
- 2 – 4 drops of Essential Oil
- 8 oz. water
- Add to glass spray bottle.
- Spray on leaves.
Using oils topically in the garden
Essential Oils are great when applied directly to plants, but the key is this: remember to dilute quite heavily. They can be effective for dealing with strengthening the immune function of plants or as a “companion.” Many are familiar with planting basil and tomatoes side by side; did you know that spraying Basil Essential Oil around and on the tomato plant can improve the health, nutrition, and taste of tomatoes in much the same way?
- 2 – 4 drops of Basil Essential Oil
- 8 oz. water
- Add to a small glass water spray bottle.
- Spray on the base of the plant.
Topical practical uses
Plants are like sponges and are also very small when you consider their mass to that of a human. When using oils on plants, be sure to dilute a lot: one to two drops to eight ounces of water can be plenty. Spray all around the garden, mist plants.
Spray or apply (diluted) to the undersides of leaves where irregular plant threats reside or pests attack.
OILS to support healthy bacteria and eliminate threats residing in the air that might inhibit normal growth:
OILS to fend off Caterpillars, Worms, Slugs, and Aphids:
Using oils internally in the garden
If we think of soil as the gut of the plant, we realize how important soil is for keeping plants growing in a healthy way.
Worms and other soil dwellers decompose everything so that plants can suck it right up. There is a perfect balance in the good soil of fungus, bacteria, and other living organisms that make the soil more nourishing for the plant.
Even funguses can be an important food source or nutrient provider for plants. For that reason, Essential Oils are a very good way to aid and promote balance that won’t deplete the soil as most commercial synthetic treatments would.
By incorporating in the soil we promote balance at the nutrition level. Oils don’t overcompensate, they are striving for balance.
Chemicals throw off all balance and can be very difficult (if not impossible in some situations) to fix.
INTERNAL: PRACTICAL USES
Adding oils to the soil when you are preparing beds would be beneficial to your garden.
- Melaleuca – promotes healthy and normal fungal balance.
- Cedarwood – deters slugs and snails.
- Peppermint – wards off mice, flies, ants, aphids, and caterpillars.
- Arborvitae – repels pests
Make a spray of 2 – 4 drops Essential Oil in 8 ounces of water, and spray soil around the base of plants. You can also add oils to the watering can, or drip irrigation.
THE PLANT WELLNESS CHECKLIST
1 – Nutrition: Good compost, manure, minerals, and other sources of nutrition in the soil.
2 – Exercise: Natural environmental stressors like wind keep plants growing healthy. In greenhouses, fans are used to keep plants from growing leggy, stringy, and weak.
3 – Reduce stress: Provide optimal conditions: plants need enough water and sunlight, good nutrition, protection from extreme weather, etc.
4 – Reduce toxic load: Avoid chemical inputs in the garden and around the home.
5 – Informed self-care: Use Essential Oils to prevent pests and other health issues.
6 – Proactive care: Reach out to experts, do testing, and read.
GOOD NUTRITION IN THE GARDEN
It’s important to note that some “weeds” are also quite beneficial for soil health (and our plants). Some “weeds” are actually nourishment accumulators (dynamic accumulators). We can spend our lives weeding, but they grow as the soils/nature’s way of healing.
Dandelions grow in areas that are wounded—you can pick them and try to kill them, but the silica and nitrogen they draw from deep in the soil, and even fabricate, are necessary for the overall health of the soil, and essential to healthy plant growth. Make sure that your plants are getting optimal nutrition by providing good compost, plenty of water, and by supplementing your gardening with the Essential Oils we’ve discussed in this post.
We must do our best to understand some of the ecosystems in the garden. If we kill off one pest, we, in turn, may kill off another beneficial creature by depleting its natural food source.
Wasp larvae eat cutworms
Ladybugs eat aphids
Some pests must be dealt with, but in general, the more diversity you can have in a garden, both in plants and in insects, the better your garden will be. Growing all one type of plant is very contrary to the way nature works, so mimic that diversity in your garden as much as possible by planting flowers to attract pollinators, herbs to prevent pests, and using Essential Oils to do much of the same.
While most of us wouldn’t go the extreme of calling in a plant doctor for our plants, imagine farmers who are reliant on their harvest for income. When we need feedback, we call on our local extensions agent, do soil samples, and try to get expert advice on how to deal with issues from books and online forums.
Incorporating Essential Oils into a regular gardening routine can increase the garden’s abundance, just as it can improve our daily health. The more proactive we are by using Essential Oils in the garden, the less likely that you’ll need expert help (or, worst case, lose crops). In most cases, Essential Oils are a very safe and effective option; so don’t hesitate to try.
NATURAL PEST MANAGEMENT
Here are the Essential Oils you can use for various pests in your garden:
PLANT LICE: Peppermint
JAPANESE BEETLES: Rosemary
Source: Essential oil Academy
GARDENER’S HAND SCRUB RECIPE
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 tbsp. liquid castile soap
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 7 drops Clary Sage
- 5 drops Melaleuca
- In a small bowl, add all ingredients and stir until smooth and combined.
- Pour into air-tight container and keep next to sink for easy use.
- To use, grab a handful and scrub on your dirt-covered hands. After you’re done, your hands will be clean, soft, and exfoliated.
I hope you enjoyed reading up on how you can use essential oils for gardening. Let’s connect in our fun and educational Facebook group where we talk about all these things share ideas and have a lot of fun!